I’m a Natalie Portman fan and have been looking forward to her debut as a deranged ballerina in Darren Aronofsky‘s Black Swan – Dec. 1. However, after reading what the critics had to say after the film’s screening at the Venice Film Festival, I’m now eagerly anticipating it. Obviously she’s beautiful and talented but the film looks so very interesting, unique and scary. I can’t wait to see it.
BLACK SWAN follows the story of Nina (Portman), a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her retired ballerina mother Erica (Barbara Hershey) who zealously supports her daughter’s professional ambition. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Winona Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily (Kunis), who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side with a recklessness that threatens to destroy her.
One review by Screen International’s Mike Goodridge:
“Black Swan will be warmly received in Venice, Toronto and beyond and it should pirouette all the way to the Oscars next Feb. If the film is ultimately too unsettling to snag main prizes, it has at least one nomination in the bag for lead actress Natalie Portman who gives one of “those” performances, transforming herself after ten months of training into an accomplished ballerina, almost uncomfortable to watch as she consumes her difficult role… Portman is captivating as Nina and not just because of her dancing prowess or her lean, emaciated ballerina’s frame. Like Catherine Deneuve in Repulsion or Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby, she captures the confusion of a repressed young woman thrown into a world of danger and temptation with frightening veracity.”
Are you excited as well?